Disability-Owned Business Enterprises and Supply Chain Diversity: Underutilized Policy Lever to Increasing Disability Employment

This study will examine trends and innovations such as disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs) and apprenticeships that are driving increased employment rates for persons with disabilities. Though not new innovations in general, people with disabilities have not typically been included in these policies and their resulting programs.

Featured Research

American Association of People with Disabilities & Disability:IN
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a prominent benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 and America’s top 200 revenue grossing law firms (Am Law 200) to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against competitors.

States by their Set-Aside/Preferred Contracting Practices

States Dashboard Map Explanation

The purpose of this dashboard is to explore the inclusion of disability-owned business enterprises in federal, state, and private-sector supply chain diversity initiatives. Based on our initial review of state procurement websites, we identified different set-aside /preferred contracting practices and different levels of inclusion of disability.

The state set-aside /preferred contracting programs allow for certain services or products to be either:

  1. fully exempted from procurement requirements or
  2. designated with a specific percentage to be fulfilled by diverse firms.

Set-asides are frequently only aspiration goals for states, but many strictly mandate that these quotas be met for their state contracts.

As seen in the states map above, although some states target disability, not all disabilities are included. Some states target only Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses for their contracting opportunities and some states target specific disabilities such as substantial physical disabilities or blindness in their set-asides or preferred bidder programs.

On the map, white color states don’t have any supplier diversity programs for any diverse small businesses. The lighter colors either has supplier diversity programs but do not include disability, or they only have contracting opportunities for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses or Blind Owned Businesses. The darkest color states have included all disabilities to their set-asides/preferred contracting programs.”

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